Sure, I've mashed up Italian-American and regional Italian in the same guide, but here in Portland, the line between the two is pretty thin. Satisfy those desires for lasagna, meatballs, antipasti and more at these local stand-bys.
From the wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas to the pitch-perfect cocktails, the menu is a veritable Greatest Hits playlist of my favorite Italian foods. Insalata Nostrana is my pick for the best salad in town. Tip: head to Nostrana for late-night happy hour and get $5 pizzas and $5 glasses of wine every night after nine pm.
Even if you're a meat eater, try the vegetarian tasting menu from chef David Anderson. He works magic with pasta, risotto, mushrooms, and more.
With a focus on oven-fired pizzas, stromboli, and cecina along with a select few family-style entrees, Cibo is a great place for casual fare and friendly service decked out in cozy-chic decor.
Romantic and delicious, a perfect date night spot. Get the tasting menu! Oh, and the name stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, Italy’s system for labeling high-quality homegrown products.
Genoa's little sister is a go-to spot for brunch with a great Bloody Mary and a seasonally-shifting menu of benedicts, pastries, frittatas, and comforting dishes like creamy polenta or shortrib hash.
Mucca is Portland's best kept secret. Dinner here feels like a trip to Tuscany, with true respect for ingredients and simple preparation. When it's available, get the bistecca fiorentina special.
This simple-yet-refined Italian favorite jumped from unknown to lines-out-the-door thanks to a 2012 Bon Appetite article. Totally deserving of the hype (and worth the wait). Try the soup.